One day when I was young, my brother asked me, “If you die tonight, do you think you would go to heaven?”
I answered immediately without hesitating, “Yes, of course!” I thought to myself that my father is a pastor, I go to church every week, I believe that Jesus is God and I’m a good person – at least better than many of my friends, so yes, I’m going to heaven.
I thought that I was going to heaven but unfortunately I was wrong!
A few years later there was a meeting to find out about Jesus and I wasn’t going to go because I figured that I already knew all about Jesus. But my brother was going so I went along as well. At that meeting people were praying, some were crying and I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to be doing.
Suddenly God showed me a vision – a picture of my heart. It was rotten, black and full of holes and I knew that this is how I looked to God – that my “goodness” wasn’t good at all. I began to cry in shame as I realized how awful my sinfulness was before God.
Then God showed me another picture but this time it was a picture of hell! It was dark and isolated and scary. I knew that this is where I was headed if something didn’t change.
I cried out to God, this time in fear, and asked God to forgive my sins and change me. As I prayed and cried, it felt like an onion being peeled as I could feel the layers of my sins being taken away – my jealousy toward my brother, my anger and bitterness toward my father, my lust and many other sins.
I then felt new and clean and forgiven! God had changed me!
The next day at school, a friend asked what had happened to me and that I was different. I knew something was different on the inside, but I was surprised that my friend noticed something. I realized one area that God changed in me was that I had stopped swearing. I didn’t try to stop. The bad words just weren’t there any more. I hadn’t even noticed until my friends said something. God truly transformed my life and this was just the beginning!